4037 Campbell Avenue
Arlington, VA 22206
Medi is your hidden gem in the Shirlington neighborhood of Arlington. The cuisine is predominately Greek with other Mediterranean influences and it is based on a “quick service” model much like Chipotle. Medi is far from fast food though. They focus on healthy and high quality ingredients with an exacting attention to detail and they have many gluten free and vegetarian menu options. Medi’s recipes are all homemade and in some cases have been passed down through generations.
Diners enjoy a customized experience. How does it work? First you choose the style of meal that suits your mood. You can have your meal in the form of a pita wrap, a salad or on top of rice. They use Fontanini pita bread out of Chicago and the rice is infused with lemon and mint. I went with the pita.
Next you choose one of several meats or balsamic grilled veggies. Medi only uses free range meats which are all marinated using a family recipe and they don’t use any oils in the meat preparation. Rather they take the time to sous-vide the meat, this cooking style entails sealing the meat in a vacuum-packed bag and slow cooking it for up to 72 hours in a water bath. The result is very tender and flavorful meat that is cooked in its own juices. I chose the spicy braised lamb, seasoned with peppers and Medi spices. The spices packed a little heat, but nothing too overwhelming. It was delicious!
After you choose your meat you can dress it with their signature toppings. For example you could have a Greek Style or the Europa Style meal. I went with the Moroccan Style, which was composed of “Medi Spicy 17 Spread”, grilled sweet peppers and onion mélange, cilantro, tomato and red onion. I was impressed away by the Medi Spicy 17 Spread. The 17 refers to the number of ingredients in the spread and it is reminiscent of a harissa but elevated to a whole new level. Some of the ingredients I could detect included Chipotle and Adobo peppers, ground coriander, honey and tandoori spice. It has an amazing spicy and slightly sweet flavor and the pepper mélange was great too. It’s made with onions and both red and green sweet peppers that are stewed in wine with golden raisins.
To accompany my delicious Moroccan style dish I ordered the innovative Gyrito. Part gyro and part taquito, it’s kind of like a crispy Greek egg roll, served atop a bed of lettuce and diced tomatoes. They take slices of gyro meet and feta cheese and roll it in a corn tortilla. It is then fried to perfection and drizzled with a balsamic glaze that gives it a little sweetness and a homemade tzatziki sauce is served with it to dip. The feta really comes through well and the Gyritos are a lot lighter than you would think. They are definitely worth trying.
Medi is a great place to have high quality, quick service Mediterranean meal at a very reasonable price. You can be in and out for under $10. They also have an interesting beer and wine selection and serve a tasty Pomegranate sangria. More Medis are on the way and they will be expanding into DC soon.